Until recently, Lake Bunyonyi seemed like a well-kept secret among the people of Kabale in southwestern Uganda. Lake Bunyonyi is, therefore, a hidden African Jewel situated in Uganda characterized with beauty seen in over 29 islands it holds, pleasant climate and a perfect spot to relax and chill on a Uganda safari tour. This lake is enclosed with lavish green-terraced hills that range between 2,200-2,478m above sea level that creates a spectacular background.
Lake Bunyonyi extends northwards from the Rwanda border over a distance of 25kms through the contours of the steep hills that separate Kabale and Kisoro districts. Lake Bunyonyi covers a distance of about 60 square kilometres. The lake is also the deepest lake in Uganda with over 900 meters. Active travellers on Uganda safaris/ Uganda tours are catered for with different activities like canoeing, boat cruise, nature walks, biking and bird watching for those interested in Uganda birding safaris/ Uganda birding safari tours.
Tourists that have visited Lake Bunyonyi Uganda during their safaris Uganda/ tours Uganda have rated it as one of the country’s top natural treasures that should be considered one of the natural wonders of the world and ranked the most treasured travel destinations. Bunyonyi means a place of many little birds but its imposing beauty can easily make you forget that you are in a prime birding spot for those on a Uganda birding safari/ Uganda birding tour. Travellers interested in birding safaris Uganda cannot miss adding Lake Bunyonyi in their itinerary in addition to other birding destinations in Uganda.
Its beauty is so imposing that it even appears on the 5000 Uganda shilling banknote. Dotted with 29 islands you may think the creator was in the mood to be extravagant with the beauty. The terrain around the lake is similar to what most of Rwanda (the land of a thousand hills) looks like. It has very steep hills and beautiful terraces that add organized beauty to this destination. The weather of the lake changes right from morning till late. In the early morning, Lake Bunyonyi’s Islands are always covered with cotton candy-like mist and in the afternoon, they’re immersed with the warm glow of the sun. Later, they’re outlined against a dim sky as evening approaches. Sometimes the islands vanish from sight completely, hidden under a blanket of clouds, and later you see them emerge once as the sun brightens.
Each of these Islands holds a different historical story to be told. Lake Bunyonyi is surrounded by steep terraced hillsides that give it a gorgeous look. This magical place, especially with a morning, you will see the mist rising off its placid waters. It has succeeded the Ssese Islands on Lake Victoria as the most frequently visited island by travellers on Uganda safaris, honeymoon safaris in Uganda, Uganda birding safaris, family vacations, as well as a relaxing place for people from Uganda wildlife safaris/Uganda wildlife tours and Uganda gorilla safaris/ Uganda gorilla trek safaris. While there, you will enjoy the natural musical sounds from the birds around the lake. Best of all, unlike many lakes in Africa, Lake Bunyonyi is bilharzia, crocodile and hippo free. It also has crystal-clear waters that are all yours to swim in.
What makes Lake Bunyonyi a wonderful birding destination?
Lake Bunyonyi, also known as the “Switzerland of Africa” by the locals, is a wonderful birding destination for bird lovers. “Bunyonyi” in the local language means “many small birds”. The main reason as to why this lake was given this name is because it’s home to a very wide range of bird species. As you explore the historic lake dotted with little Islands on your Uganda safari or Uganda birding safari, expect to see several bird species since the lake habits over 200 bird species including flycatchers, sunbirds, Cardinal Woodpecker, weavers, White-tailed blue monard, African Harrier Hawk, Pied kingfisher, Malachite kingfisher, grey crowned cranes, Herons, egrets, the cardinal woodpecker, the levillant cuckoo, slender-billed baglafetch, weavers, levillant cuckoo, Cinnamon-chested Bee eater, Bronzy sunbird, Pied wagtail, Grey shrike, Hadada ibis, Swamp flycatcher, Black heron, Great cormorant, Fan-tailed widow bird, Streaky seed eater, Speckled mousebird, Pin-tailed wider, Bronze manikin, Black-headed Weaver and Golden-backed weaver and many more.
Comparing the different Uganda birding safari destinations, in the country, Lake Bunyonyi is the most convenient place for the travelers interested in birding safaris in Uganda/Bird watching safaris Uganda since one does not hustle while sighting birds but rather sit and relax on the lake shores as they view the bird species in the sky, on trees around. This easy Uganda birding safari tour makes Lake Bunyonyi undoubtedly the loveliest magical lake in Uganda.
The best birding experience along a Lake Bunyonyi
Travelers are usually taken for nature walks along the lake and also driven in dug out canoes or boats to the different islands along the lake because all can be accessed by boat. Some of the island on the lake include; -Akampene ,Bushara, Bwama and Njuyeera, Bacuranuka and many more. Some tourists enjoy transferring from one island to another on boat as they search for different bird species. As they sail on the waters of Bunyonyi, they get a chance of encountering some birds especially the water birds as they play and roam about the water surface.
Apart from viewing these rare bird species, there are other tourists activities in Lake Bunyonyi that tourists can do including, boat rides, swimming, sport fishing, cultural and nature walks around the lake.
Before it became a famous tourist attraction, people who wanted to visit this magical lake on their Uganda safari had to first ask for directions to this wonder of nature. Because it is a famous tourist attraction now, there are more than enough road signs giving directions to the second deepest in Africa.
If you are driving from Entebbe or Uganda’s capital; Kampala, you will have to endure a long ride of about 7 hours before getting to Kabale town. If you are coming from another capital like Kigali in Rwanda, you will only spend about 2 hours on the road before you get to Lake Bunyonyi Uganda.
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